Monday, April 19, 2010

Aliens, incentives and ADHD

Researchers from Nottingham University in the U.K. have been using a computer game to assess the effectiveness of behaviour therapy in treating children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In behaviour therapy children are rewarded for not behaving impulsively and the game took a similar approach by rewarding children for zapping the right colour aliens and penalising them for behaving impulsively and zapping the wrong colour ones. For some of the children the rewards and penalties of the game were increased fivefold. The children whose incentives were greater performed better at the game and the game affected activity in the same region of the brain as the ADHD drug Ritalin.

You can find out more about this research at

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